will hair dye stain a stainless steel sink
Kristina Davis

A lot of people are new to the hair dyeing world and one of the questions they all have in common is will hair dye stains a stainless steel sink.

Another question they ask is if hair dye can stain the surroundings generally. 

Dyeing at home has become popular over the years for various reasons but mostly because it is faster, cheaper, and easier. 

Though it has a lot of advantages, it also has its downsides. Just like every other beauty procedure, it can be messy.

Hair dye can stain not only a stainless steel sink but also any other surface it has been spilled on. Be it your shower tiles, bathtub etcetera.

Will Hair Dye Stain A Stainless Steel Sink?

hair dye stain sink

Dyeing hair at home has become much of a habit for most people. The thing is, no matter how often it is done, they always vary about leaving stains. 

Like I said earlier, dyeing your hair at home can be very messy, with dye splashing everywhere no matter how careful you are.

It takes a lot to stain stainless steel because stainless steel is a non-reactive metal. It is not absorbent to color stains, unlike other surfaces. 

Since the dye is extremely strong, staining the stainless steel is a very high occurrence.

The dye undergoes an oxidation reaction with the surfaces it touches to enable it to add permanent colors to the hair.

Note: This same oxidation reaction occurs when it touches any other surfaces, stainless steel included.

How To Avoid Getting Hair Dye Stain On Stainless Steel Sinks

avoid hair dye stain

They say prevention is better than cure which is why it is best to avoid getting dye on your sink in the first place rather than dealing with the aftermath of stains. 

Here are some ways to avoid getting stains on your stainless steel sink and other surfaces.

Cover The Sink With Petroleum Jelly

Step #1: Clean the Sink

Before jumping into anything, it is best to wash your sink properly to get rid of any residual soap left in the sink.

Having soap scum in the sink aids the bonding of the dye to the sink surfaces and we don’t want that happening now, do we?

Step #2: Add a Thin Layer of Petroleum Jelly

After making sure the sink is free of soap and has properly dried, you can proceed to rub the surfaces of the sink or any other place you are afraid of staining with petroleum jelly.

add petroleum jelly

Step #3: Leave Water Running

The final step is not as compulsory as it is a safety protocol to be on the safer side.

Since water doesn’t mix well with petroleum jelly, you don’t have to worry about it being washed away. 

The running water prevents the dye from having a chance to set it. As I said, it is not compulsory and could be a waste of water.

Tip: Any form of petroleum jelly would do, like your Vaseline or baby cream.

Cover The Sink With Oil

In cases where you don’t have petroleum jelly, you can make use of oil as a replacement.

Oil works equally as well to prevent getting stains on your sink. 

cover sink with oil

The only difference is that you don’t have to add the last step of leaving your water faucet running.

It can negatively affect the position of the oil on the sink surface.

Tip: The two listed methods above can help prevent hair stains on your skin when dyeing your hair.

Even with all the precautions, you might still end up with stains on your stainless steel surface which brings us to the next part of this article.

How To Get Rid Of Hair Dye Stain

get rid of dye stains

Does hair dye stain stainless steel sink? Yes, it does. Are the stains removable? 

Of course, they are. The best way to get hair dye off the sink is to try to get it off immediately.

Since the effect of the dye is more apparent over time, it is best to clean the dye off immediately. 

Do this before the dye starts reacting with the stainless steel.

So wipe the spill with a wet cloth to get rid of the stain as long as it is still fresh, and then you can get back to dyeing your hair. 

In cases where the dye has been given time to linger, wiping with a wet cloth can not be as effective. 

In such a case, wait till you are fully done dyeing your hair. Then carefully discard every other thing that could stain the sink further.

Here are the other methods for getting rid of tougher hair dye stains.

Method #1: Washing

washing materials

If the stain doesn’t come off upon wiping, the next thing to consider is washing the stained area with good old soap and water.

Step #1: Make A Cleaning Solution

Make a cleaning solution with dish soap or detergent and water. Be generous with the soap and let it be foamy as much as possible

Step #2: Wash And Scrub

After getting the perfect cleaning solution, you can proceed to wash the stained surface with a sponge.

Use your strength to scrub and wash the stained surface for as long as you want. 

wash and scrub sink
Tip: When washing, you must make use of a sponge and nothing else if possible.

Step #3: Rinse And Repeat

After washing the surfaces until you are satisfied, you can then proceed to rinse off the soap.

If the dye doesn’t come off after that, you can repeat the process until you get a more satisfying result.

Method #2: Bleaching

Sometimes, using just soap and water might not be effective enough to get rid of the dye stains, which is why we have to add something more.

In that case, you can proceed to use bleach instead. 

Though normally, I wouldn’t advise people to go make use of bleach, considering how harsh it can be, it might be the best method. 

use oxiclean to clean

In that case, I would advise you to make use of OxiClean because it is less harsh and highly biodegradable. 

The steps involved are quite similar to the ones listed previously, with just some slight altercation.

Here are the steps involved.

Step #1: Make A Cleaning Solution

When making a solution of soap, bleach, and water, I would advise using twice the amount of bleach compared to that of the soap. 

This means the ratio of bleach to soap should be 2:1 and you should not add too much water.

Step #2: Spray The Surface With Bleach

Before anything moving on with anything else, spray the stained surface beforehand and leave for about 30 minutes.

use bleach

Step #3: Wash And Rinse

After all that, you can then proceed to wash the already sprayed surfaces with the cleaning solution.

Wash until you can tell for sure the dye is coming off after that, you can rinse it off. 

If you are not satisfied with the result, you can always repeat the process as much as you want. But be careful because too much bleach is bad for your sink.

Tip: Make use of OxiClean cleaning bleach instead of your normal chlorine bleach.

Method #3: Using Baking Soda And Water

For more permanent and older stains, we have to go with something of more force which in this case is baking soda.

use baking soda and water

Here are the steps involved.

Step #1: Make A Paste

The first thing to do when using this method is to make a paste of baking soda and warm water.

There should be an emphasis on the warm because the paste is more reactive if it is warm.

Tip: For extra power, you can decide to replace the water with white vinegar or lemon juice.

Step #2: Apply And Wait

After making the paste, wear a glove and apply it to the stained area and wait for at least an hour.

If the stain is extremely intense, you can apply and wait overnight or for as long as you want.

Step #3: Wash Off

wash off

After waiting, you can then wash the surface with a sponge or an old toothbrush.

Occasionally dip the sponge or brush inside soap water to make the scrubbing easier. 

After that, you can then proceed to wash off the sink.

Method #4: Alcohol

Using alcohol is a far stretch but it is worth the try. I sometimes use alcohol to get rid of certain stains like nail polish and marker stains and it works perfectly.

Since alcohol dissolves almost anything, it should work well to get rid of dye stains.


All you have to do is spray some alcohol on the stained area and wipe it with a cloth.

Or, you could put alcohol on a cloth and use it to wipe the sinks until you notice the stains coming off.

Note: It might not be as effective as the other methods but it is certainly worth a try.


Getting hair dye stains on your surface is unavoidable at best, considering how messy it can be. So one is never truly free from that though it is worth trying.

You can try to be as careful as possible and cover the space with some plastic bags to avoid the surfaces getting stained.

Now that we know the answer to the question, “Will hair dye stain a stainless steel sink?” we have gotten to the end of this article.

Since stains can’t be fully avoided, it is best to equip oneself with the knowledge of how to get rid of them.

I hope this article has been helpful. Thank you very much for your time and patience. Stay safe!